BabyGaga had the opportunity to speak with actress Tami Stronach about balancing motherhood and stardom.
The Neverending Story was a smash hit in 1984, introducing adults and children alike to the magical world of Fantasia. Directed by Wolfgang Petersen, the epic fantasy film gained an instant cult following - and thrust its young cast into the spotlight. Tami Stronach took on the role of The Childlike Empress, a wise ruler of a strange land that helped the main protagonist, Bastian, overcome adversity to save Fantasia.
PREVIOUSLY: THINGS MY MOTHER NEVER TOLD ME ABOUT BEING A MOM
At the time, Stronach was just 11 years old, after coming to America from Iran in 1978. Rather than capitalizing on the movie's box office success, Tami decided to take a step away from acting to pursue other creative outlets. After forging a successful career as a choreographer, the New York resident started a family of her own. Tami spoke with us exclusively about how she juggles her active career, budding new company and motherhood.
Tami is the first to admit that striking the balance between being a mother to seven-year-old Maya and following her own career aspirations was tough initially.
"I'd been making a lot of performances and getting babysitters and keeping her away from that," she said. "You know, don't make any noise, don't disrupt the audience...but she was saying, 'I want to come see the show!' and I thought, 'I kind of want you to come see the show too!'"
The 45-year-old went on to explain the impact that becoming a mother had on her career, and how vastly it changed her perspective on that aspect of her life.
"In some ways, me having a child was a seismic shift. I wanted somehow to have my personal life and my work life integrate. It can be really rewarding to go to work and cut off your personal life and have this quiet space where you're doing adult things and having adult conversations. Also, it felt very odd to go to work and have a complete severing of my personal life."
While Tami made certain to point out that she wasn't diminishing that escape that so many of us crave, she went on to explain her hope that her budding new entertainment company, Paper Canoe, could be the answer to finally getting that work/life balance right.
"I craved the possibility of creating a space where all of the different parts of my life could be integrated and that's what Paper Canoe was. It was to create an umbrella to hold seemingly contradictory things."
Although Tami didn't reprise the role of The Childlike Empress for the subsequent films in The Neverending Story trilogy, it doesn't look like she's missed out on a thing, proving that you really can have your cake and eat it too as a mom. You can follow Tami on Instagram to keep up to date with her latest venture.